(Photo by BYU Creative Design/Becca Urry)
PROVO, Utah -- Gordy Bravo hasn’t had your typical summer. Sure, the junior from Corona, California, has been busy playing softball; but it might not be for whom you would expect.
Bravo was selected to play softball for the Mexican National Team. Her grandparents are from Mexico, and because of that relationship she qualified to be a national team member.
She spent this summer playing in the World Cup of Softball in Irvine, California, where Mexico placed sixth. Considering how long the team had been together, that was an excellent showing.
“It was really hard because it was our first time playing together in those games,” Bravo said. “We tried out, then woke up the next day and played in the tournament, it was pretty crazy.”
The team also competed in the Canadian Cup in Surrey, British Columbia, Canada, where they didn’t medal but played well and started to come together as a team. Bravo was also named to the all-tournament team.
Trying out for the Mexican team was a spur-of-the-moment decision for Bravo. It’s not something that she has always dreamed about, but when the opportunity presented itself, she took advantage of it.
“A lot of my friends got invites to try out and they told me about it. I talked to Coach Eakin (BYU women’s softball head coach) and he contacted the Mexican coach and gave them my information and stats,” Bravo said. “They told me to come try out and I ended up making the team.”
The Cougars play Oregon State this season; Ya Garcia is a star infielder for the Beavers and member of the Mexican squad as well. Bravo has enjoyed getting to know her and is looking forward to squaring off against her when BYU gets going.
Playing for Mexico, Bravo had the chance to talk about BYU to players and fans from around the world. She has been able to tell other athletes that you can still have a positive and life-changing experience in Provo, even if you aren’t a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
“I get a lot of questions from players on my team and from other teams actually,” Bravo said. “When I tell them I play for BYU they’re interested in what it’s all about, so I’m trying to spread BYU as I go.”
Bravo had an experience in Holland that really opened her eyes to the worldwide influence of BYU and its sports programs. The Mexican team was there playing a couple of exhibition games before a tournament, and in between games Bravo ventured out into town and saw some BYU fans.
“When we were in Holland I actually saw a couple of people wearing BYU shirts,” Bravo said. “Who knew there were BYU fans in Holland?”
Bravo and the Mexican National Team will compete at the 22nd Central American and Caribbean Sports Games in Veracruz, Veracruz, Mexico, Nov. 23-30. Bravo said the team is excited for the games and is looking forward to playing in their home country.